He was a very nice random dude, but still. Mistake. I have two other tattoos, and they hurt. The one on my ankle not as much as the one on my stomach. But this one hurt like a mother fucker. I didn't think it would be fun or anything, but this was extreme. By the end of it I was actually seeing stars. It felt like a drill with a very small bit was etching something into the center of my bone. I could only take it for so long, but luckily it only took ten minutes.
At times like this, I find it helpful to think about ping pong. Not Ping Pong, but ping pong. The game with the paddles. I envision the ball, and I concentrate on how to spin it. I think about how many people (fools!) believe that ping pong is a fairly sedentary activity. In reality, the way I play it, it's as aerobic as kick boxing. You have to have your body in the exact right position, see, to hit the ball from a Centered Place, to control the shot. And getting there in the split second you have requires some fast moving. When I play someone better than I am, I leave drenched in sweat. You can see why I use ping pong as a euphemism for Ping Pong. It's apt.
Which brings me to my next topic: The Puzzle Piece. This summer I have been organizing and giving away Ari's baby stuff. In the process I found A Puzzle Piece that we had been missing for the past 16 centuries. It goes to the puzzle that has race cars on it, and like any decent parent, I knew this right away. Also, like any decent parent, I proceeded for weeks on end with the following dance:
Day 1 -- Self enters dining area of home, noticing immediately that there is A Puzzle Piece smack dab in the center of the dining room table, so as not to be lost (again).
Self (to self): Oh, lookie! There is that Puzzle Piece I'm so happy I found! Yay! (Thinks) But. . .wait. Now, where is the puzzle?
Day 2 -- Self enters dining room again, sees Puzzle Piece, etc.
Self (to self): Oh, oh! Quick! Before I forget! I must: Move! The Puzzle Piece! Somewhere else! So as not to lose it! (Takes Puzzle Piece and places it in jewelry box.)
Day 3 -- Self enters dining room. Does not notice Puzzle Piece, since it has been moved to a place self rarely looks. Self goes to refrigerator and proceeds through the day with absolutely no Puzzle Piece interactions.
Days 4-6 -- See day 3.
Day 7 -- Self has head buried in an enormous Rubbermaid container, and is digging for Matchbox cars, while Ari screams in the background.
Ari: Mommy! You lost my car!!!?! (Weeps. Hurls body on floor.)
Self: Of course not, sweetie! It's here somewhere. I was just playing with it while I was waiting for the water to boil. (Finds A Puzzle. To self) Oh my god! It's the puzzle! The one with the piece! (Takes puzzle and gives to Ari--because five-year-olds never lose anything.) Ari, sweetie, take this and put it somewhere safe, where you can remember it.
Day 8 -- You know the rest. Do I have to spell it out? Answer: no. I find The Puzzle Piece or The Puzzle, but never both at the same time, and this goes on for 183 eons, until I am so infuriated with the whole situation that I am driven to drink. (That's my excuse anyway.) But! Of course today! Today! People!
I found The Puzzle and The Puzzle Piece, and I united them, in their proper box, as they were meant to be. I was so happy I did an interpretative dance and called all my friends (who didn't understand -- some friends!) and wrote a damn essay (i.e. blog post) in honor of my puzzle piece success.
What does it all mean?